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Hitachi Solutions

The New Dynamics CRM Phone App

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If you use CRM for Tablets or you read the CRM Mobile Survival Guide, you are aware of the great functionality of the Tablet app:

  • Modern design
  • Almost full CRM functionality
  • Support for JavaScript
  • Support for embedded web resources (post CRM 2015)
  • Business Rules
  • Business Process Flow

And if you use CRM on your smartphone, or you read chapter 2 of the CRM Mobile Survival Guide, you are aware of the limitations of the current CRM for Phones app. It is possible to deliver a good user experience on CRM 2013/2015 for Phones, but there are many limitations that you have to work around.

Update 1 delivers the CRM phone app for which we have all been waiting. The reimagined CRM for Phones app brings the same functionality in the tablet app to smartphones.

Benefits

The new phone app adds the missing piece for a “design once, deploy everywhere” strategy. Gone is the need to configure and maintain a separate set of “mobile” forms—your regular forms, along with their business logic, will work on your phone, your tablet, or your PC.

  • Simplification of configuration—no more need to configure and maintain a separate set of mobile forms
  • Business logic like PBL Business Rules and JavaScript are supported
  • Role Based Forms can be used just like every other client
  • Process Driven UI works on any device

Supported Devices

Platform Versions RAM
iOS 7.x and 8.x =>1GB
Android 4.4 =>1GB
Windows Phone 8.1 GDR =>512MB

                                                                                                                         

Upgrade Experience

Users of the existing app will be notified of the availability of the new CRM for Phones app when they connect to a server running CRM 2015 Update 1. The configuration of the Phone App is the same process as configuring CRM for Tablets (which I cover in chapter 3 of the CRM Mobile Survival Guide). The new app will be named “Dynamics CRM for Phone” and the legacy phone app will be renamed “Dynamics CRM for Phone – Express.” As of the writing of this post the new app is not yet in the main app stores, but it will be shortly as soon as Apple, Google, and Microsoft stores approve it.

Will this new app will magically solve all of my CRM phone needs?

The answer is “probably.” Most users will find that the new app (like the tablet app) will do most of what they need to do. However, there are two scenarios where some users may still want to use the legacy phone interface instead of (or along side) the reimagined phone app.

  • Limitations: The reimagined Dynamics CRM for Phone app includes the same limitations as the existing CRM for Tablets app. Please review Chapter 5 of the CRM Mobile Survival Guide to learn more about the limitations in number of fields, tabs, and grids.
  • Missing entities: The entities currently missing from the tablet app are also missing from the reimagined phone app (it is the same platform). If you require any of the following entities from your phone, or you currently use them in the legacy phone app, you will want to continue to use the CRM for Phone – Express interface for access to these entities.

 

Address
Campaign
Campaign Activity
Campaign Response
Contract
Contract Detail
Discount
Discount List
Facility/Equipment
Fax
Invoice Product
Invoices
Letters
Mailbox
Marketing List
Opportunity Close
Order
Order Product
Price List
price List Item
Quote Close
Quote Product
Quotes
Service
Service Activities
Subject
Territory
Unit
Unit Group

 

  • Opening records from email hyperlinks on your smartphone. One of the great features of CRM for Phones – Express is the ability to open in browser on a phone, including when opening a record from a hyperlink in an email, such as a workflow generated email notification. If your workflow depends on this capability, you will still want to configure the legacy phone form for the entities that will be opened from hyperlinks, as they will render in the legacy phone UI

Given these limitations, should someone who needs these features avoid the reimaged phone app? No. You still will probably find that the improved UI will make users want to use the new app. My recommendation is to limit what you expose via the legacy phone app to only those entities that cannot be accessed via the reimagined app. This way users will use the reimagined app for their primary phone experience, but can easily switch to the legacy app when they need access to functionality not found in the reimagined app.

Microsoft continues to refresh the entities that are not enabled for the modern mobile apps, and number of these limitations will decline with future releases.

by Hitachi Solutions America

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